SOUTH AFRICA: With KMG Hunting Safaris

Dudders

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AFTERNOON :
Lunch was a quiet affair Dani went to talk to Marius and I went and spoke will Louis that it was unlikely that we would find the zebra and to be prepared for that. Up until that point I think he still thought we would definitely find it, we did not mention it to the other guys at lunch just to keep the pressure of the boy a bit, we all geared up for the afternoon session, Marius told the other PH's to keep an eye out for the zebra and to shoot it if it was seen. We returned to where the zebra blood was last seen and retracked its movements, Lloyd went down hill to check it had not peeled away from the group. I tracked the blood and found one more spot on a rock about 15 meters from the main deposit but could find no more dani and louis followed the main groups tracks until they lost them over some rocky ground after about an hour me and Lloyd met back up and headed back to the bakkie where danie and louis were waiting. The weather had now become quiet warm so we had a water break Lloyd said he knew where the group would head and we should drive round and see if we could find them to take another look, So off we set to high ground overlooking an other wide scrubby valley we sat and glassed the valley when Lloyd spots them eight still in a group moving through the bushes. They moved off before we could get a go look at them into a very thickly covered hillside by now the light was beginning to go by the time we would get into a position to follow it would be to dark . Lloyd said he knew were they would be in the morning so we would resume the chase then we all agreed and headed back to the lodge . That evening around the fire everyone retold their days storys and every one was very supportive of louis and not to worry it happens to every one which was really good. more tales were told good food eaten and more beer drank then off to bed.
 
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Dudders

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SUNDAY : Breakfast was 6.30 Marius asked Dani his plan for the morning Dani replied zebra a short discussion in afrikaans and we were off to pick up Lloyd. Lloyd sat up top and guided us to the vantage point where we could look for the zebra there again Lloyd was bang on the money there above the gorge that runs through the middle of the concession were the zebra again we drove round and walked in from about half a mile quietly stalking through the scrub to where we thought they were. Well three of us quietly stalked through the bush this is where louis got his buffalo feet tag he has never been light on his feet but Dani worked hard through the whole safaris to rectify it much to my delight. I had tried for years but with no success. We reached the spot where the zebra had been but they had moved on again. Lloyd went on to see if he could find them we waited for his return as Lloyd came back Dani sent louis off to meet him when out of ear shot Dani said it was time to leave the zebra and move on I agreed we had now spent a day and a half chasing zebra with no obvious injured animal in the group to follow up on. Dani then informed me Marius knowing how hard he had worked to save for his zebra made on offer for a second animal which was more than generous. so we left the zebra and head to the bakkie loaded up and went to look for another animal off the list we then spotted a group of blesbuck so we were off again we dropped back into the scrub to move in down wind of them but they had already spotted us and headed to the thicker brushy area we followed in where they disappeared and walked straight into a group of zebra . Zebra and blesbuck ran in all directions , we watched the zebra disappear over the next valley all agreed that none looked distressed and we moved on again to see if we could close in on the blesbuck . After about 100 meters Dani stops louis turns to me and whispers Dad did you want a duiker I nodded and we swapped positions Dani already had the sticks up I took the rifle from louis placed it on the sticks there 20 meters away stood a duiker Dani whispers when your ready, I place the crosshair on the shoulder to see it walk behind a large cactus we wait a couple of seconds and dani is off I follow Lloyd and louis wait while we drop down the slope a little and move along the bank about 10 more meters dani freezes I am right behind him ther at about 10 meters away in some scrub stands the duiker Dani whispers again use shoulder using dani to screen my movement I raise the rifle lay it on his shoulder look through the scope at the duiker stationary in the bush crosshair on the head move down the neck the bulk of the body is hidden by the bush and the slight blur in the scope from being so close shoulder should be just there safety off squeeze the trigger and see it drop on the spot. Relief after the last day and a half smiles and hand shakes off for the photos
13100741_10154968687843569_239561939543896019_n.jpg


after the photos it was time for lunch and a well deserved afternoon nap
 
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SUNDAY AFTERNOON : Lunch today was a south African favourite fat bread Dani got very excited by this it was a deep fried bread roll which you stuff with mince or jam or jelly as our American friends would say they were very filling and well received after lunch I discussed Marius offer with louis concerning the zebra as it would be up to him to make the decision. he said he would like to try for another one but on condition it was not like a pet one he wanted a proper one he had to work for. Had a chat with Marius thanked him for his generous offer and that we would like to take him up on it .
That afternoon we drove to to a neighbour 10 minutes away to hunt or should that be chase springbok. we drove to the farm picked up the farmer and started our search it didn't take long there were lots of springbok the ground here was quite different from that at the lodge it was very open with low sheep fencing, the large open areas were split by gulley's that had small dried up streams in the bottom. we parked up and set off after a group of springbok that's when I noticed that the open areas were in fact covered by wild thyme it smelt very nice as you walked through it and then the pain what the bloody hell an introduction to the kick up cactus a nasty little blighter that as you walk flicks up and sticks in to normaly the back of your leg with three inch spikes. I found the best way to deal with these was to follow diretly in Dani,s footsteps as most would collect on him sort of like a magnet. back to the springbok to say they were flighty would not do them justice look at them wrong at 600 meters and they were off over the next horizon this seemed to be the theme for the rest of the afternoon spot springbok begin stalk get within 500 meters and they were gone . The wind was very strong and swirling round which was not helping it seemed to make them more flighty than normal apparently . after about an hour and a half Lloyd, louis graham and the owner decided perhaps they should wait and let me and Dani proceed on our own might have more success we tried for half an hour more same thing time after time, I could see the frustration building in Dani and I was now starting to see the funny side of the situation . We returned to the others went back to the bakkie and tried a different area . we were driving along a track when a group of springbok were spotted, out me and Dani get walk down the track set upon the sticks and watch we had gotten within 100 meters of a group of females we waited but the only ram was a nice black one not for me though so we moved on again by now we were starting to lose the light one last chance we set off after a large group seen moving slowly away from us we clambered over a sheep fence and moved in there direction they were heading towards a small scrubby area in one of the gullies once again busted and they all took off . dani phoned graham to bring the bakkie round and pick us up but graham then informs dani that he has a flat tyre and can not fix it Dani face just about says it all back we go to change the tyre . half an hour later wheel changed now it is dark we load up and head back to the farm. Now Marius had warned us about danis special ability which is his singing and the fact he knows the words to it seems every song ever written so dani decides its now music time we drive backto the farm with michael Jackson full blast with dani singing along in full screech mode most entertaining . we dropped the farmer back at his place and headed into the night with a 1980s sing along well apart from graham who looked a frightened by the whole experience
 

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MONDAY : Breakfast at 6am we were going to drive to a different concession about an hour away This morning the target animals being zebra, blesbok and bushbuck Marius and sandrat were also going to hunt the same place today. A plan was formed we would enter the property first as the zebra are always hanging around in the open grassy area just as you enter the farm simply shoot zebra then Marius and sandrat would continue on into the farm we would then wait while Lloyd skins zebra and deals with carcass, this will let the blesbok settle. Return to same area shoot blesbok repeat procedure and then hunt bushbuck simple. so we set off with Marius leading the way. The weather forecast today was much better early cloud would move away and the day should be warm and sunny with light wind so the animals should be out and about today. As we left to collect Lloyd Dani announced that his girlfriend had dumped him last night, now that explained the some what quiet dani at breakfast and now what do you do with a love sick ph told dani" oh dear terribly sorry to hear that I am sure it will all be good when you get back home " and prayed he wouldn't burst into tears . The plan was to follow marius but as we backed off out of the dust cloud so we could see Marius hits warp speed and disappears . We get to the main road we chose left dani texts marius wrong we turn around and head off and catch marius who is waiting and then follow him to the concession Dani spends the journey there on the phone I would normally not have been to impressed with this but in the curcumstances I let this one go . There was a change of plan that envolved us swapping rifles with marius 308 went and was replaced by a 300 win mag and marius diverted off something about a caracal but Lloyd now new the way , the general area was quite flat and much more heavily farmed lots of dairy cattle and a few crops grown Lloyd pointed out a small track and we turned off the main road we drove down this track about 800 meters to the main gate Lloyd open up we drove in and parked up. There was a large grassy area which then sloped gently upwards into light brush and to our left more open grassland with patches of thorny scrub we sit and glass the area wildebeest, blesbok white and normal, kudu, Impala yes that's right no Zebra the plan had lasted how long we rechecked the area definatly no zebra. so we set off on foot with dani looking for a good blesbok instead we look at several animals when a nice ram crosses in front of us and stands ontop of a earth bank at about 100 meters away dani checks him and says "yes he's good" I replied "ok let louis shoot " dani looks a little supprised I thought it would be the perfect confidence boost for him after the last few days dani set up the sticks for him popped the 300 up we waited looking through the binoculars the shot rang out and the blesbok dropped right where it stood mission accomplished and my sons first African animal was in the bag.
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Relief all round smiles and the customary hand shakes we loaded up and went to the farmhouse where Lloyd got to work skinning while we sat and watched It was the first time we had seen the process carried out in Africa and if you get chance to see these guys it is well worth watching. The skill with the tools they have at there disposal is very imprssive. I would also like to add that at this point Dani did apologise about his phone use on the trip down we had a chat about women and stuff and left it at that. Marius then arrived with sandrat and there caracal swapped guns again and off they went again leaving lindaly to skin the cat, now that looked tricky Lloyd finished off then it was time for us to start again.
 

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Great report writing Richard keep it coming, not sure I can keep up with the high standard your setting but will see how it goes. Terrific pic of Louis with the Blesbok, he's a great young man and much to be proud of, it was a pleasure to meet you both and share camp.
Cheers, Markvm
 

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we travelled with south African airways
the stamp was just a business stamp I think it made it look more official

Hmmm.
Sounds like a nice kick back set up to me. Damn.
"Just happen to have a lawyers number right here."

Sounds like the beginning of a good story...



Looks like SAA brought a little of "special" Africa to UK!! :ROFLMAO::whistle:o_O

just what i was thinking pete but you beat me to it.......:E Big Grin:
 

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Great report writing Richard keep it coming, not sure I can keep up with the high standard your setting but will see how it goes. Terrific pic of Louis with the Blesbok, he's a great young man and much to be proud of, it was a pleasure to meet you both and share camp.
Cheers, Markvm
Thanks Mark, glad you and Sharyn made it back safe and well. had some good laughs at the lodge and enjoyed every minute of your company.
 

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MONDAY AFTERNOON : We left the farm and headed back to were the zebra were supposed to be drove to high ground then glassed the area for a while still no zebra but plenty of other animals to look at. we drove to the shade of a large tree and ate some lunch and just admired the view. The plan was now to go look for bushbuck we drove back past the farm house and down a narrow grass track the ground suddenly changed to wide sweeping flat bottomed valleys quite a contrast to the part of the farm we had just come from we stopped to glass the surrounding hills we spotted some waterbuck does but not much else .
IMG_4417.JPG


at this point I was suddenly aware of the heat from the sun was starting to burn my ears for the first time since we arrived we had to apply sun block
we drove the track stopping at various points to glass the area the track split and we drove to the left not long after we found Marius's truck so we backed out and took the right fork we followed the track a way then parked up Lloyd said he knew a good spot for bush buck and we should go look there. we continued on foot following the track which lead down to the valley floor over looking a group of rough pasture fields surrounded by bush and divided by thick hedges about 20 meters wide as we neared the bottom where the track opened up into the first field we spotted a male bush buck with a group of females, unfortunately they were the wrong side of the boundary fence. we decided to sit and wait it out at this spot. The boundary fence was in a bad way and perhaps the bush buck may move through it towards us, after a while they moved off heading away from us but Lloyd said we should stay as it was one of Marius good bushbuck spots so we lay in the sun waiting after half an hour Lloyd drew our attention to some female bush buck that had come out of the hedge in front of us and were moving to feeding into the centre of the middle field about 300 meters away a good sign females equals males somewhere there must be a buck. after while the sun took its toll and lead there in the grass I drifted off to sleep. at some point I woke nothing like a little nap to recharge the battery's louis was asleep to I nudged dani to show him as he breathed in he was sucking in fly's which popped back out as he exhaled we joked he might not be quite so hungry tonight with the extra protein. feeling much more awake I began to glass the field again there were two females and one young fawn still in the centre of the field but no buck dani's head started nodding I told him not to fight it and I and Lloyd would keep an eye out twenty minutes later everyone's awake and refreshed I glass the field and more females start to appear one and two at a time as I glass the field a black shape fills the binoculars with two pointed horns and is gone back to the scrub me an dani in a half crouching position quickly move closer to the hedge get a better view into the corner of the field we sit down and get set up after 5 minutes he appears right in the corner of the field but in a flash is gone more females come out of the hedge there are now eight females in the field feeding he appears again and trots away from us heading to the hedge at the top of the field dani say's wait for him to stop and shoot but he does not stop and disappears again another five minutes pass and he does the same circuit again a fast trot I follow in the scope dani try's a whistle no not interested and gone, every time he appears my hart pounds and my hand gets a little quiver, he his a really good buck almost jet black with a really nice set of horns we wait 10 minutes pass and he appears again this time he slowly walks towards the middle of the field I feel much calmer now I follow him through the scope place the cross hair at the front of this shoulder flick off the safety everything feel good calm and controlled i squeeze the trigger but no the trigger doesn't move its solid I had not pushed the mauser's safety far enough down damn he is now hidden behind the largest cactus on the planet we wait for him to walk out into view he doesn't after a minute he bolts back to the brush at high speed we sit and wait until the sun had disappear behind the hills that surround us and we call it a day we walk back to louis and Lloyd, louis then as fifteen year old boys do says " you know that was an absolute monster don't you Lloyd told me its the best he 's seen for ages " great thanks for that the long steep walk back to the bakkie gives me time to mull over the events of the last hour what could of been but that's hunting some you win some you lose but what memories after several rest breaks we reach the bakkie before both Lloyd and dani flat ground man apparently was his excuse we took one look back down the valley only to see not two fields away the group of zebra we load up and head for the lodge the trip back was quiet affair dani put the music on but kept skipping the love songs as we left the main road on to the dirt track heading to the lodge there was a man walking along the road as we sped past Lloyd shouts stop it was one of the guys from the lodge walking back after his weekend off we back up and he looks relieved throws his gear in the back and jumps on that saved him an 8 mile uphill walk in total darkness . we drop Lloyd and co at the rooms and head back to the lodge for another great meal more beer and a warm bed ( found out we had electric blankets nice )
 

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Great report so far! Keep it coming!
 

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SUNDAY AFTERNOON : Lunch today was a south African favourite fat bread Dani got very excited by this it was a deep fried bread roll which you stuff with mince or jam or jelly as our American friends would say they were very filling and well received after lunch I discussed Marius offer with louis concerning the zebra as it would be up to him to make the decision. he said he would like to try for another one but on condition it was not like a pet one he wanted a proper one he had to work for. Had a chat with Marius thanked him for his generous offer and that we would like to take him up on it .
That afternoon we drove to to a neighbour 10 minutes away to hunt or should that be chase springbok. we drove to the farm picked up the farmer and started our search it didn't take long there were lots of springbok the ground here was quite different from that at the lodge it was very open with low sheep fencing, the large open areas were split by gulley's that had small dried up streams in the bottom. we parked up and set off after a group of springbok that's when I noticed that the open areas were in fact covered by wild thyme it smelt very nice as you walked through it and then the pain what the bloody hell an introduction to the kick up cactus a nasty little blighter that as you walk flicks up and sticks in to normaly the back of your leg with three inch spikes. I found the best way to deal with these was to follow diretly in Dani,s footsteps as most would collect on him sort of like a magnet. back to the springbok to say they were flighty would not do them justice look at them wrong at 600 meters and they were off over the next horizon this seemed to be the theme for the rest of the afternoon spot springbok begin stalk get within 500 meters and they were gone . The wind was very strong and swirling round which was not helping it seemed to make them more flighty than normal apparently . after about an hour and a half Lloyd, louis graham and the owner decided perhaps they should wait and let me and Dani proceed on our own might have more success we tried for half an hour more same thing time after time, I could see the frustration building in Dani and I was now starting to see the funny side of the situation . We returned to the others went back to the bakkie and tried a different area . we were driving along a track when a group of springbok were spotted, out me and Dani get walk down the track set upon the sticks and watch we had gotten within 100 meters of a group of females we waited but the only ram was a nice black one not for me though so we moved on again by now we were starting to lose the light one last chance we set off after a large group seen moving slowly away from us we clambered over a sheep fence and moved in there direction they were heading towards a small scrubby area in one of the gullies once again busted and they all took off . dani phoned graham to bring the bakkie round and pick us up but graham then informs dani that he has a flat tyre and can not fix it Dani face just about says it all back we go to change the tyre . half an hour later wheel changed now it is dark we load up and head back to the farm. Now Marius had warned us about danis special ability which is his singing and the fact he knows the words to it seems every song ever written so dani decides its now music time we drive backto the farm with michael Jackson full blast with dani singing along in full screech mode most entertaining . we dropped the farmer back at his place and headed into the night with a 1980s sing along well apart from graham who looked a frightened by the whole experience
Thanks for saving that black springbuck
 

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TUESDAY : Breakfast was at 6am ready for a 6.30 get away to a concession 45 minutes way from the lodge Mark, Sharyn and martin where to hunt the same concession today we were both looking for a Nyala so we headed out at the same time half the trip was on rough back roads with a series of multi coloured donkeys to avoid (ask mark nicely he might tell you a story about a donkey ) we arrive and are introduced to hienrich the concession manager who will accompany us while mark and his gang go after a nyala he had spotted the day before. the area we started to look in was very steep with narrow ravines which lead to the river at the bottom of the valley floor we glassed the hill/ mountain sides where we lots of female nyala with young and a good number of young with them their were also a number of female kudu with immature males higher up the slopes in the morning sun the prospects looked good. we moved from vantage point to vantage point looking for a good mature nyala or kudu we put in a couple of stalks through some likely looking spots but the animals we saw were still young or still had not reached there potential heinrich would just say no we can do much better than that. having only seen pictures in books and on the internet the nyala is even more magnificent in real life they we absolutely beautiful with the sun shining down on them . we decide to move on to another area on the concession as we do hienrich gets a call mark had shot his nyala but the needed hienrich's dog to help track it we about turned and took him back to the office were he went off to help track . we then continued to hunt on our own by now the sun had gone and the sky had began to cloud up and the wind had picked up and was quite cold this made the animals disappear to more sheltered areas we began walking the valley ridges scanning the slopes but not seeing much now then it began to rain we took shelter under some bushes and waited dani hoped they are found marks nyala as this rain would make it hard to track if it carried on to long. luckily it soon stopped and we carried on the same routine, as we made our way back up one of these ridges there stood a nyala bull 100 meters away on the opposite slope busy feeding dani says it looks good we move in dani sets up the sticks as I sit down I slip and fall onto a dried up bush it sounds like I just felled a tree the buck looks straight at us and is off
I apologise to dani and he just says on well that one was not for us and we move on again. we see a couple more nyala but all young males

this is where we hunted the morning
P1010178.JPG
it was near lunch so we decided to head back to when the news came through that they had marks nyala and we could head onto the other side of the property we drove to lodge over looking the valley where we had lunch and could glass the surrounding area from . There we a few females and one male visible but stalking them would be difficult and dani didn't think the male was that good as we sat and watch three nyala males appeared heading away over the ridge into the next gully dani thought the middle one was a good animal and we were off. we drove down into the valley on past where we thought they were heading to get down wind and stalk back in onto them after 40 minutes stalking nothing the nyala had disappeared we backed tracked to the bakkie and returned to the lodge to reglass the area the same bull from earlier was still there with a group of females dani was taking another look at this bull when I spotted another pair of nyala bulls just visable from where I was stood dani came and looked I guided him to them at first he could only find one but after a few seconds he had located both yes both were good with the far one being the best but how to get there. From our earlier stalk we new the wind was swirling around from both left and right sides difficult if we came over the ridge above them the ground was open and there we a lot of kudu and nyala females to get past. there was a track running above them but again the wind would be wrong and we would be to visable there was only one route left straight down from the lodge. the lodge was perched on the side of ahill which fell away to give a fantastic view of the valley below and it was steep . dani looks and asks you up for it. yeap lets go wa sthe reply we dump all the kit dani takes the gun Lloyd the sticks and louis stays to watch and we set off down the slope well we slide on our backsides hang onto branches trying not to grab a handful of thorns as we use these to steady ourselves after a couple of minutes scrabbaling down we end up on an animal track about 3 feet wide we look up there is stood the middle nyala we had dropped right on top of him dani quietly loads the 308 looks him over no he whispers next one the three of us slip past unnoticed 30 meters along the track is the third bull we drop to our knees dani checks him over yes this is the one dani setts the sticks dani points and whispers one two three the position of the other bulls and says definatly this one I put the 308 on the sticks safety off double check safety line up Dani says" wait" I think oh no whats wrong he wispers 100 meters shoulder phew but nice to know line up on the shoulder squeeze the trigger and the nyala drops on the spot and lets out a deep below job done we get over to where he dropped there he is what a beautiful animal it turn around and look back to the lodge did we really come down there wow what a stalk
13179082_10154968688198569_3516269889740569159_n.jpg
 

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Great nyala! Sounds like a very fun hunt. I'll be chasing nyala in less than two months!
 

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Good looking Nyala. Beautiful animals. Congrats. Bruce
 

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CONTINUED : dani gets on the phone and calls hienrich who comes to assist the extraction luckily with a bit of skilful driving gets right to where the nyala was lying we load up and move to a suitable flat spot for the photos I look with the binoculars to see if louis was still at the lodge the guys ask is he still there yes I can see him and wave little did I know he took this at 60x zoom on the camera
P1010203.JPG

we take photos load up and head back to the skinning shed
P1010217.JPG


we leave load to sort out the nyala while we now begin the search for kudu heinrich joins us and guides us around the property taking us to all the best spots he knows unfortunately the kudu had different ideas and we didn't see any. heinrich and dani resorted to throwing rocks into thick patches of brush to see if they could flush out a kudu but still no joy heinrich had one more place to try a small gulley that ran along side a track we left the bakkie and walked we had not gone far along when we could see some kudu cows then two young kudu bulls there was also a group od nyala and impala all together in this small gully, we crept along trying to pass these animals hoping to spot a large kudu male but a young nyala bull finally gave us away and the gully emptied but no large kudu emerged. we headed of in the direction the animals had gone hoping we may bump something along the way when we spotted a group of zebra me and heinrich waited and let dani and louis move up to see if they could stalk in they got in real close but the bush was to thick for a clear shot and every time they got into position the zebra would move again just out of sight at one point two of the zebra came around behind the two of them heinrich whispered if think the zebra are stalking them not them the zebra at this point they were busted and the zebra took off into the distance the sun was now starting to set and we returned to the bakkie and went and collected Lloyd and the nyala thanked heinrich and set off back to the lodge for tea .
 

Dudders

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NEWS FLASH : while I was away with kmg we began to suffer with fox attacks on my daughters chickens two evenings ago a i shot a dog fox from my daughters bedroom problem solved but last night we had a revenge attack a fox broke through the pen chewed through the house and killed seven hens and two ducks and left the lot well just as I posted the report to night the dogs barked I went up stairs torch out the window there is the vixen trying to get into the goose pen my daughter jumps out of bed holds the torch out the window, green eyes red dot on the chest job done really pleased a quick beer and I am off to bed a daughters hero .
 

rinehart0050

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@Dudders congrats on the hunt.... in your backyard! Well done saving your daughter's geese!
 

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Tokoloshe Safaris wrote on Milan's profile.
I do not know where this video was posted, but I would very much like to see it.
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Hello Milan, I just watched your video on disassembling/reassembling the CZ 550. I have spent days looking for something like this. I now have no reservations taking apart my rifle. I like to do this with all my guns so I understand them "inside and out". Thank you very much for the information. It is greatly appreciated.
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60 375 Ruger Brass
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for final confirmation
 
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